Abandoned (1949) Script

"Tonight, in our United States."

"At a city hall."

"The hour approaches eleven."

"At whatever the time, or wherever the place."

"Tonight something will happen."

"In a city which may be your home."

"You'll read about it tomorrow."

"This is the true to life story behind one such headline."

I wonder if you could help me? I imagine. What's the trouble?

My sister is missing.

You came to the right place.

I'm going off duty in a few minutes.

But if you want to fill out this form and leave that picture ..

Jones here, will put it on the wire.


Just give us all the details.


Or you can fill it out at home and bring it back in the morning.

Yes, I think I'll do that.

Well, I ought to drop in here more often.

Hiya, Mark. What are you doing here?

Looking for evidence of incompetence among city employees.

You're out of luck. I'm only incompetent during working hours.

What's your sister's name and physical description?


Mary Considine. She's about my build.

Well, already I'm interested in the case.

Uhuh. Kid sister?

Fifteen months older. She's been living here about a year.

This face is familiar. Did you check the morgue? They're open all night.

You recognise the picture?

Easy now, easy. That's just one of his routine questions.


Where you from? Beaverbrook, Pennsylvania.

Well, sounds like a nice place. Lots of brooks and beavers. Things like that.

Miss, when did you last hear from your sister?

She wrote two weeks ago from a hospital here.

But I checked and they say she was never there.

What was wrong with her? I don't know.

Let's see the letter. I don't have it with me.

Well give me a picture then. I'll run a story on it. Help you out. Mint?

Please, not in newspapers.

Hold it, Mark. Until this case is on file, it's not for publication.

As a gentleman of the press, I give you my word.

Which is as good as getting a pawn ticket on the atomic bomb.

Hiya, Mrs Jones.

Do you know that you're married to a crusty monster?

How are the kids?

Bad and good, Mark.

I'm sorry we can't stop to talk, but I have the children home without a sitter.

Come in the morning Miss Considine, with your sister's letter.

Thank you.

Don't let him get lost.

Hey, Considine.

To ease your mind, the morgue is just around the corner.

Let's check.

Wait a minute, wait a minute. I'm on your side.

Look, it's awfully late. That's why you shouldn't be out alone.


Do you know anyone else in town besides me?

I don't even know you and I'd appreciate it if you'd leave me alone.

Always a good idea to have a friend.

I promise you there is no story in this.

At least, not one that you'll get from me.

Well, I live in the hope that you'll change your mind.

In the meantime .. Hey, what are you doing?

Let go of me!

Don't look now, but you're being followed.

What do you mean?

Be a good girl and be quiet and we'll see what's up.

Let go of me!

By the way, I don't think we've met.

My name is Sitko .. Mark Sitko.

I know.

You couldn't sleep so you just decided to take the gun out for a walk.

I'll take that back. You want to bet?

What's the idea of skulking around after this young lady?

I couldn't sleep so I just decided to take my gun out for a walk.

You got a license for this? Sitko, quit the clowning.

Did I say something funny?

By the way, have you met the young lady that you're scaring half to death?

Miss Considine, meet Mr Kerric.

The cheapest private detective in town.

Specializes in framing divorces and frightening little children.

Kerric? You know him?

Sorry, Lady. You've never seen me before.

No, but when Mary left home ..

My father hired long distance an investigator named Kerric.

He kept sending him money to find Mary.

Any comment?

The phonebook is full of Kerrics.

At least seven of them. All of them private eyes?

Come on, give me the gun. I got to go.

You really got a permit for this thing?

A very pretty girl.

Did you recognise her?

That's me. That's my picture.

Collecting pin-ups, Kerric?

I thought you were supposed to be after the other girl.

Not that it's any of your business, but ..

Her old man did hire me to find the sister.

Then, not wanting to spoil a perfect record, you failed.

But why my picture?

Two days ago your father sent me a picture of you.

He tipped me off and I met your plane.

Why did he?

You're not very smart, Sitko.

He thinks maybe this one will lead me to the other one.

But you ruined that.

Maybe .. maybe not.

Incidentally, when did you start going in for honest money?

I know you are considered a very funny guy.

But I'm not one of your fans.

Going legitimate is like a vulture turning vegetarian.

You are still not getting a smile out of me.

You never found Mary?

Not a trace.

Then join the searching party and start earning your price.

Go on, go on.

"In the Coroner's morgue of every city is a register called the Jane Doe book."

"A picture album of the unidentified dead."




"Jane Doe number 7."

"Body found in stolen car. Motor running."

"Basement of Paradise Hills unfinished building development."

"No articles of identification."

"Cause of death: carbon monoxide poisoning."

She wouldn't do it.

I know she wouldn't do it.

Autopsy report: female. Age about 20.

Hair, brown. Eyes, blue.

Recent childbirth.

Coroner's finding: probable suicide.


Number 67324.

Well, that just about winds up the case.

You can report to your client now and have him take you off the gravy train.

I'll report to my client and let him make up his own mind.

There won't be any need for you to follow the young lady anymore.

As I said .. I take orders from my customers.

Goodnight, Kerric.

And if you can possibly arrange it, let's make it goodbye.

Careful with this thing. It's loaded.

Where are you staying? At the Fenwick.

They got a nice little coffee shop over there.

Come on. You look like you could some.

Not a very nice welcome to the city, was it.

You knew about the baby?


She wrote you that from the hospital.

And you say you checked there?

They've never heard of her.

Do you want to talk about her?

I don't know.

It might help.

Why did she leave home?

Neither one of us got along with my father very well after my mother died.

Mary was older. She got away first.

I see.

What did she do when she got here?

I don't know.

She never wrote much. That's why my father hired the detective.


He wanted her back?

I don't think so.

He just would never leave either one of us alone.

Did she send for you?

No. She ..

Just said she was in hospital and I got worried.

Well, I ..

I know it isn't much consolation, but ..

They say it's not a hard way to go.

She didn't do it.

She never would have done it herself.

What makes you think so? I knew her.

I'm afraid that wouldn't carry much weight with the Coroner.

A stolen car. Carbon monoxide.

That's what doesn't make sense. She didn't even know how to drive.

Well, you can learn a lot away from home.

She didn't kill herself.

You'd better go upstairs and try to get some sleep.

I can't sleep tonight. Well, get some rest anyway.

You're not going to put any of this in the paper?

Not a word. Now you stop worrying.

You think she killed herself, don't you?

Why don't you just stop thinking about it.

Come on, I'll walk you to the elevator.

Hey Scoop, I want you to do something for me.

Mr Sitko, I'm on my way home now.

You'll never win a Pulitzer prize that way.

Check the motor vehicle department.

See if there was a driver's license issued to a Mary Considine.

Dig up all the back issues of the paper for the past year ..

See if there's a marriage license issued to the same Mary Considine. - But ..

While you're at it, go to the bureau of statistics.

I want a list of all the babies born dead during the past month.

But Mr Sitko. Mr Sitko, this will take the rest of the night.

And tomorrow. Tomorrow is my day off.

What better way to spend it than by working?

Why don't you do it yourself?

Oh because Scoop, I'm old and I'm tired.

Because, well ..

I've reached a position in life where I can order you to do it for me.

Now go on! Get it done.


If a baby didn't die ..

Where else could it go?

I don't really know where they come from .. I don't know where they go.

Give me everything you've got on babies.

Everything? Uhuh.

You know. Little ones.

[ Buzzer ]

You got bells in your head? It's two o'clock.

Harry, get Mrs Donner up.

Come back later .. a whole lot later.

Don't push me around, Punchy. This is important.

Nothing is so important.

For you ever to disturb me at this time of the morning.

Absolutely nothing.

That's what I said. Absolutely nothing.

Go back to bed, Harry. Yes, ma'am.

She identified her sister's body and is shooting off her mouth it's not suicide.

It wasn't very bright of you.

To let her get to the morgue.

It wasn't bright of you to have a thing there for her to see when she got there.

What did you expect me to do?

Let her write a letter to the District Attorney?

She was a trouble maker.

She wanted her baby back.

I'd be happy if we committed our murders in a state without capital punishment.

Don't talk like that.

I've told you before.

You've told me a lot of things.

They all add up to a short walk from the death cell if this thing breaks.

Why should it?

I haven't told you the most interesting part.


She's teamed up with a reporter from The Mirror.

They were all down at the morgue together.

And did you serve tea after you told them the whole set up?

They don't know anything yet.

But I don't like it.

What happens if she starts looking for the baby?

Have you ever looked for a needle in haystack?

I'm afraid she'll have a little difficulty finding it.

You know, I don't think you're as smart as the others think.

Maybe not.

But I'm smart enough to know you sit in the same box with the rest of us.

You threatened the girl with exposure.

You pocketed your commission for the sale of her baby.

If there is a short walk from the death cell ..

You and I will take it together.

Right in step.

What's the next move?

Watch her. Find out what she's doing.

I don't think she'll get very far.

If she does.

We can take care of her.

The solutions are getting monotonous.

Always the same.

Perhaps. Monotonous, but effective.

From now on, she's in your department.

I have a lot of back orders to fill.


What's the matter?

I thought how nice life used to be when I stuck to blackmail and petty larceny.

I hear you've been working all night. What are up to?

"What are you up", I believe is correct.

Alright. To what are you up?

Big stuff.

I may decide to put this paper on the map.

That would be kind of you.

No kidding, Nolan. It really is big.

I'll need a few days. Go ahead.

How much can I spend? How much have you got?

A funny fellow.

Don't walk through any open drawbridges.

"Number please?"

Good morning, sweetheart. Will you get me the Fenwick Hotel.

Good morning.

You look you haven't had any more sleep than I have.

Sleep is for the upper classes.

Only toil and weariness for peasants like us.

My marvellous little brain has been busy on covering several pertinent facts.

Your sister was never issued a driver's license.

Then she didn't kill herself.

That's an interesting fact, not necessarily proof.

I also checked on all the babies born dead in the past month.

All accounted for.

Good legitimate families.

She's still alive.

How do you know it's a "she"?

Mary told me in her letter.

Well, when was she born?

February the 22nd.

You know, you could have saved us lot of trouble if you'd informed me last night.

Let's go.

Where are we going? That's a good question.

Come on.

Do you mind if I take a look at that letter now?

Yes, I do.

So you're not interested in finding the baby or what happened to your sister?

Of course I am.

But I'm not interested in having our personal problems all over a front page.

Who said anything about that? Nobody.

But you don't deny it.

Granted. That I'm after a story.

And if I get it, I'm bound to find out things that will interest you.

I don't want the baby starting out in life ..

With a bunch of press clippings for a birthday present.

Supposing ..

Supposing I could promise you not to use any actual names in the story.

How good is your promise?

It's always been pretty good.

Oh, I don't know.

What if I told you that I ..

Already have a pretty good idea what was in that letter?

You see, I ..

I checked the marriage licenses for the past year.

There wasn't one issued to your sister.

She could have been married someplace else.

Was she?


Who paid her expenses?

Some lady, she said. Hmm.

And the lady promised to put the baby out for adoption?


Don't act so surprised.

I've been reading stories like that all night.

Oh, I guess you might as well have the letter now.

I don't need the letter now.

You and I are on our way to see a friend of mine.

This is a lot bigger than just Mary and her baby.

I don't know why all of a sudden you're so excited about this, Mark.

You've read the clippings.

Sure, I've known about that for months.

Don't you read your own paper?

I only read my own stuff.

That way I know the quality of literature I'm getting.

I'd like to help Miss Considine, but you just don't have any evidence.

Mack, ever know Kerric to be mixed up in anything that didn't smell up the place?

Never gotten anything on him yet.

Mary Considine didn't even have a license to drive. How about that?

A lot of people drive without licenses.

If you'd give me a couple of men for a few days ..

A couple of men?

Half my force is tied up 24 hours a day closing down pyramid clubs.

The other half are so busy I can't get myself investigated without a priority.

You can't ignore that letter.

It's perfectly clear that she fell for a smooth line of chat.

He talked her right into the hands of a baby broker.

A line in the letter isn't much proof. Maybe she abandoned the baby before ..

She wouldn't have done that.

You're making me feel like a first-class heel, Mark.

I don't want you to feel at all.

Mark, I don't have the men to throw out on anything as slim as this.

Why the fact that wrote from the Bimini Hospital and they never heard of her?

Maybe she swiped the stationary. You've checked this yourself, Miss Considine?

Yes, she'd never been registered there.

And nobody recognised her picture?

I never thought of the picture.

You didn't show it to them?

Why didn't you tell me? I don't know.

Well, let's get going.

You don't mind if tonight I look into this myself?

Not at all. Glad to have you on the staff.

If I come in with the whole thing worked out, will you move in?

That's what the taxpayers hire me for. So that's it.

You learn something every day.

Our records show there were five girls born here the night of February 22nd.

Miss Tripp tells us you nurses attended them.

Kelly, Korchack, Ravens, Spence and Trent.

Was this girl one of the five mothers?

Not Mrs Korchack or Mrs Raven. I cloud never forget them.

No, that wasn't Mrs Spence.

Kelly or Trent only wished they looked like that.

With the birth rate around here.

I couldn't recognise any face and connect it with a name.


Are you positive that none of you have ever seen my sister?

I'm terribly sorry.


Thanks. Thanks very much. We're sorry we bothered you all.

Alright girls, you can go.

I don't understand it.

Your sister writes you everything you wouldn't expect her to.

And does it on phony stationary. Why?

If I knew that, I'd know what to do.

By the way, what do we do now?

Start at the bottom. Work our way up.

How do we do that?

First we go to a little place that I know and have a drink.

Wear your cast-iron stomach.

Then, if I get the information that I expect to, we ..

Put on our track shoes and start running in all directions at the same time.


A cast-iron stomach and track shoes. Anything else?

Just start smiling like that a little more often.


Haven't seen you around for some time, Mark.

I've been patronising the bars with the un-cut whiskey.

Oh, are they still operating?

I'll have to take it up with my union.

Eddie, I got a problem.

I should be so lucky to have your problem.

I got a friend .. Could have fooled me.

I got a friend who wants to adopt a baby.

A solid citizen?

He doesn't want to go through all the rigmarole, you know ..


Being a friend of yours, he couldn't stand an investigation.

I told him I thought there were a couple of corners he might cut.

You don't have no friend wants a baby.


But supposing I did?

Where would he go?

You working on a story? Uhuh.

Working on a drink and listening to you.

It's big stuff, Mark.

Who's afraid of the big, bad stuff?

These kids don't play.

They take their work seriously. Bully for them.

Where do I go?

The whole business is run by one syndicate.

Believe me, they're dangerous.

So I'll pay my life insurance.

Did you ever hear of Morrie the bookie?


Don't tell him I sent you.

Where can I reach him? Ah ..

You have to find that out for yourself.

The condemned man drank a good, strong drink.

Not so strong, Eddie.

Load it up a little bit, will you.

McRae speaking.

"Mack, this is Sitko."

Oh, don't tell me you're yelling for help already.

A little.

You ever run across a character named "Morrie", runs a bookie joint?

Sure, we have him down here about once a month.

"You know where I can catch up with him?"

Yes. We're going to raid him next week.

What's the address?

Now just a minute. I'll check.

The address on Morrie the bookie.


Yeah? "277 East 6th Street."

"Got it?" Yeah, I got it.

What do you want with Morrie?

I want to put a bet down, before you guys get to him.

Tomorrow morning, we'll start bright and early.

Where could a guy find Morrie?

A guy could walk right into the back room and find him sitting there.

Say, in about then minutes.

Nice shot.

You want to run a few?

Sure. 2 bits a shot? - Okay.


Go ahead.

Well ..

Fifteen. Side pocket.

That's one for me.

A little out of practice, sister.

[ Radio: ] "At the finish, Bowling Star by a nose."

Bowling Star by its schnoz.

That cost me money.

Quit worrying, Morrie.

I'll make it up to you. Tell me what I want to know.

Why do you want to throw your money away on children?

Play the races.

I'll tell you what I'll do.

You name a connection and I'll make a bet.

On a horse that lost yesterday.

Shoeshine Sammy. The numbers' rider.

Don't tell him I sent you. Thanks fellah.

Thank you.

Sure, man.

I got a head for figures.

I just can't think of the personality you want.


Does this give you any ideas?

Man, that's my lucky number.

And it leads my mental processes to night cool.

Yes, and to Delaney the bail bondsman.

Thanks, Sammy.

Don't tell him I sent you.

Oh, Sammy.

I don't know what you're talking about.

A baby broker.


Look pal. Me, I tell you I couldn't fix it. Not for love nor money.

Who said anything about love?

Like all the rest. You think you can buy me for money.

Here, Delaney.

Well, you're right. But it takes more.

Who said anything about no more?

Who said anything about Doc Tilson that maybe a fast phone-call couldn't fix.

Uh .. let's see.

You got another ten?

I'm fresh out of nickels.

"Illegitimate enterprises work hand in pocket with any shady area of revenue."

"One racket leads to another."

"Finally, to an unlicensed doctor."

"Practising behind the front of a Turkish bath."

I guess that means me.

Mrs Donner?

They are at Doc Tilson's.

He just went in. She's waiting outside.

Stay on the line, Kerric.


I'd like to speak to DeCola.

Mrs Donner calling.

DeCola speaking. "Mrs Donner."

Why yes, Mrs Donner.

I was just looking over your check.

It's payment for protection.

I've no intention of worrying whether I'm getting it.

If you expect ..

I don't expect any complaints from you.

You've stayed open for several years.

And you'll continue to remain open as long as I handle things.

That's not what I meant.

I've just received information ..

That a newspaper man and his stooge are at Doc Tilson's.

That probably means only one thing.

Unfavorable publicity.


I hear you made four sales last week.

They don't seem to be included in my check.

"Perhaps. I've been so busy."


Yes, I'm sure it was an oversight.

Just don't let it happen again.

Now, if you hold on, I'll call Doc Tilson.

Well, with those references.

Something might be arranged.

DeCola speaking.

Do you have someone with you, trying to buy?

Why, yes.

"I assume you intended to check with me first?"

Very definitely.

Hold on, Doc.

You worry needlessly, Mrs Donner.

And .. don't forget your check.

Hello, Doc.

Tell him there is nothing available now. But to keep in touch with you.

And say, Doc.

Let me know if he bothers you again.

As I was saying, with those references, we'll have to do a lot more checking.

Everything was going fine there for a few minutes.

I had him wrapped up and ready for delivery.

The phone rings. Progress stops.

Are you sure we're on the right track?

We're on the right track alright, but somebody has thrown a switch.

Take a good look at a discouraged man.

You're not going to quit are you?

Quit? I don't know how to even spell the word.

This means so awfully much to me, Mark.

The baby is the only thing that is left of my sister.

Oh, we'll find it .. I mean "her".

But we got to start being a lot smarter.

That's pretty difficult considering I'm already about the brainiest guy in town.

Why were you at the Missing Persons Bureau the other night?

Looking for some people I missed.

Lucky for me.

No, not yet. We haven't even started.

What do we do now?

Well .. we use psychology.

Whatever that means.

Let's suppose you were in Mary's position. What would you have done?

Afraid that the folks back home might find out.

No job, no money.

No-one to turn to.

But Mary found a way.

The Bimini hospital stationary.

And the woman to pay the expenses.

Maybe a small private hospital?

No .. that costs money.

Plus she offered to work part of her way.

The papers are full of deals like that.

Here we are.

In return for light work, mother to be offered a home and medical attention.

Private nursery home will exchange services for .. blah, blah, blah.

If you're in trouble needing a friendly advisor ..

Call Mrs Ellen Ross, Salvation Army Home.

Dr James .. Hey, wait.

The one you just read, before this last one.

The Salvation Army Home.

Any girl in trouble needing friendly advisors.

Yes. Maybe Mary?

What's the matter?

Our friend, Kerric.

He's over there hiding in the bulrushes.

No wonder everything has gone sour.

I don't think he's the reason.


I called my father last night to tell him about Mary.

Kerric had already told him.

Oh, you mean he's still on your father's payroll?

Well anyway, I'm tired of having him chaperone us.

[ Whistle ]

Hey fellahs. Come over here please.

Hey .. playing cowboy and Indian, huh?

So what's it to you?

There is a guy hiding behind a tree about a hundred feet up this path.

He's a big guy, kind of fat.

For a buck, he's an Indian. Am I right?

For a buck, we'd burn him at the stake. No. No burning. Just ..

Tie him up for a few minutes until we get out of the forest.

Okay. Come on, men. Let's go.


One dollar.

Give me Mary's picture.

You go back to your hotel and check out.

I'll meet you in about an hour at the Salvation Army Hall.

Here, take this.

We've hit it. They recognised the picture. Mary was here.

This is the other Miss Considine? How do you do?

Major Ross is in charge here.

Won't you sit down?

I was terribly sorry to hear ..

You knew Mary? Yes.

But Mary left our home just before she had her baby.



As I've explained, we're trying to do an impossible thing.

Any thread of information ..?

That's against our policy.

We don't even share our girl's secrets with the FBI.

The young lady that you mentioned to me.

The one that was friendly with Mary.

Do you suppose that Miss Considine ..

I do want to help.

And I know Dottie would like very much to talk to someone from Mary's family.

But .. Oh, please.

In a way, you'll still be helping my sister. Protecting her baby.

That's all I want to do.

Excuse us.

She used to tell me quite a lot about you.

And she said that if the baby was a girl ..

She was going to name it "Paula" after you.


She used to try to get me to care about what happened.

She didn't like it when I used to say to her.

I thought we'd be much better off if we never even saw our children.

Then she did want to keep her baby, didn't she?


She used to lie in bed at night when all the lights were out.

She'd tell me her plans.

Do you ..?

Did she ever mention who the ..?

If you don't want to talk about a thing yourself, you don't ask someone else to.

Did anyone visit her while she was here?

Well, yes.

One night we were taking our regular walk outside.

And this man came up to us.

And he was with a lady.

She walked with a cane.

And she passed out bibles.

Why haven't you mentioned this before, Dottie?

There was no reason to.

Please go on.

Well .. Mary nudged me to keep walking.

And she stayed there, talking with this man she knew.

Dottie, could you describe him?


I guess when you don't like someone, you don't remember them.

But once he raised his voice.

And I heard him say something like ..

I know what's best for you and you'll do it or you know what.

And later, when I asked Mary about it.

She just said I was better off being an orphan.

And she cried all that night.

And then ..

When Mary left our home she insisted upon paying for her stay with us.

Now I can understand where she received the money.

She had very little when she arrived.

And ..

And she left some money for me, too.

Me, she just met here.

She was so good.

Major Ross. Would Dottie be allowed to speak to the District Attorney?

Our girls are not prisoners here.

Would you?

I'll change.

And there must be a change.

Accosting our girls.

Luring them away with big promises.

Can you tell the boys what those promises are?

Well, I always hate to say this to a newspaperman.

Since I can't speak for the entire Salvation Army.

This must be off the record.

Well Brenn has to. A department rule on paperwork.

Not that it's your fault, but there has been too much paperwork.

And not enough legal work.

The chicken comes before the egg.



A private room in any hospital a girl chooses.

Better food.

A special nurse.

Go right on.

A liberal clothing allowance for the girl after the baby is delivered.

And some money for a fresh start.

Well Major, what's so bad about that? Nobody gets hurt.

Because Dowd, they are just promises, with a catch to them obviously.

Yes, and here is something you evidently don't realise.

No girl ever emotionally releases her baby.

Before, she may think she doesn't want it.

Afterwards ..

Two weeks after ..

Major Ross, are you making an official charge ..

That this woman is a front for a baby brokerage ring?

No, I am not charging that she is a front.

I am personally charging that she is a baby broker.

But the girls go to her of their own free will.

That's a technicality. They don't know what they're getting into.

It's a question of whether a girl in that state of mind ..

Is competent to make a decision.

With these people there are no restrictions.

The only qualification needed for getting a child is money.

It's not like a licensed adoption home.

It's the worst kind of slavery, Mack.

For a price, anybody can buy a human being.


Why, if this girl hadn't found out about the death of her sister ..

And the missing baby.

Not any eyebrow would have been raised.

You said if we did the legwork that you'd move in.

Mark, that would mean some girl endangering herself.

I'll do it.

No, Dottie.

I don't want you to into this with any false illusions, Miss Jensen.

You will be in a certain amount of danger.

I understand.

We'll give you all the protection we can, but ..

It's alright ..

You see, I want to do it.

Dowd .. Brenn.

This calls for a stakeout detail.

"A stakeout is a police term meaning .. trap."

"The teeth of the trap are well concealed."

"In the window of the home, a District Attorney's investigator."

"At his elbow, a recording machine."

"With hidden microphones to pick up any talk that can be used as evidence."

"In a nondescript truck across the street a plain-clothes man."

"The handyman of the detail."

"Around the corner in a garage taken over for the purpose."

"Are 3 scout cars manned by detective agents trained in automotive shadowing."

"In a convertible, parked like any romantic couple ending a date."

"Are a newspaperman and a girl."

"Waiting for another kind of rendezvous to begin."

I always figured there's a time to stand still and a time to move ahead.

That's what you figured?

As far as I'm concerned, we ought to lay low for a while.

So, you're giving advice?

Did you know Mrs Donner is figuring on taking care of more girls?

That's her business.

What happened to those two you were supposed to be watching?

I ..

I got tied up with something else.


Did Mrs Donner tell you who that girl is I'm tagging?

Sure. She's a plant.

A stooge for the newspaper guy.

She's the sister of the dame you took care of for Mrs Donner.

Her name is Considine, too.

Who said I took care of anyone?

Forget I said it.

I can't.

Because you might say it again.

You know too much.

You talk too much.

Not when I'm involved.

And I'm in this up to my neck. Maybe deeper than that.

Who told you to go messing around the Spences? - Why?

I know what's going on.

That's how I stay alive in this business.

I just called them up and asked them if they'd ..

Changed the Considine baby for another kid.

Why? Are you going in for social work now?

Or are you starting your own Sally Ann?

I'm doing what I think is best for all of us.

If this girl starts kicking up too much dust we can buy her off.

By giving her back her sister's kid.

Any kid would do the trick.

If we need a trick.


I don't like you butting in. I was only trying to ..

There's a rumor going round town that I'm getting soft.

Whenever that happens, I always cut a couple of throats.

Just to prove a point. Now look, DeCola.

Who do you think would miss him, Hoppe? Nobody.

You look like a good candidate.

If you don't keep your nose where it belongs.


No need to get tough. I'll do what I'm told.

I'm telling you to mind your own business. - Okay.

Keep in touch.


Yeah, I will.

You'd better.

Here we are with all the help we need and nobody to chase.

Do you think she'll show up, Mark? You can't say.

This waiting is the worse part, isn't it.

Not for me.

What a way to make a living.

Parked every night with a beautiful girl.

Tell me something about Beaverbrook.

Not that I believe there is any such place.

Oh, it's there alright.

What's the population, not counting the beavers?

About five thousand.


Not many boyfriends to choose from in a town that size.

There has always been enough to go round.

Oh, I see.

You know, I ..

I don't think you'd look good with a small-town boy.

No? No.

What you need is a ..

City fellah, to sort-of show you off.

Where are you from originally, Mark?

I was afraid you were going to ask that.

Ash Fork, Kansas.

Yes, but it's ..

It's mostly worn off.

And how big is Ash Fork?

Three ashtrays, one fork.


It's up to Dottie Jensen now.

Keep your fingers crossed.

Oh. Young ladies.

Good evening. Hello.

I'd like to give each of you a little bible.

Would you ..?

Thank you.

Mrs ..?

My dear, names are not important.

You see I represent a religious organisation.

Yes, ma'am.

We also take care of children.

And find nice homes for them quickly.

Of course, on the other hand if you want to keep the child yourself.

It can be arranged.

"Keep it, I don't want it."

"Oh my dear, please, please. Don't cry."

"I'm here to help you."

"If you like, you can leave with me right now."

"And we'll send back for your clothes."

Our organisation has a lovely home.

But how can I? I owe so much money already.

We take care of that.

You don't have a worry.

And you can be sure that your child will be placed with people of fine character.


SSC 1 to 3. Roll 'em.

SSC 2 and 3, take positions.

SSC 1.

Tag black "L".


"Number 343670."

Mark, she'll see us.

Our friend in the cab will romance the heavies.

Let's give a lift to the law.

SSC 1.

Tailing black "L". Approaching underpass near Torrance.

"SSC 3. Waiting. Over."

"SSC 2 at Brandon."

Make a stenographic transcription of this record.

SSC 1, turn off now. SSC 2 take over.

SSC 3 proceed to cut-off point.

SSC 2. Check. Picking up black "L" at Brandon.

"SSC 3. Maybe black "L" at destination."

"330 Beulah Drive."

"Repeat: 330 Beulah Drive."

"Standing by."

What's the codebook on 330 Beulah drive?

Understood. 330 Beulah Drive. Full detail. Deploy.

SSC 3. Park. Hold house in view.

Not bad. It checks with the license tag and her name is Mrs Leona Donner.

You checked with the centralised bureau?

Right .. and she shows no police record.


This looks like us.

With this ring, I do thee ..

I know. No slip-ups or Mrs Donner will come between us.

Not so fast. What about the references?

We'll get to someone who knows her well.

Tomorrow, we get a letter of introduction to Mrs Donner.

We must go to the Penitentiary to get it.

Miss Considine. Can you act like a married woman?

I think so.

And Mark, you try to look like a respectable businessman.

How they look?

Oh .. white shirt, neat suit and ..

The socks match.

I'll go to a costumers and get outfitted.

Take my word for it. Things are getting tighter and tighter.

Me, too.

Alright. Kid about it if you want to.

Things aren't being handled right.

Mrs Donner does my thinking for me.

I hope she thinks of something real funny.

Answer the door, Harry. And do up your coat buttons.

I hear you've been talking to DeCola. I'm sure popular.

Everybody knows everything about me.

You've been doing an awful lot of talking out of turn.

First with the Spences and now DeCola.

I have a neck I'm awfully fond of. Well don't stick it out then.

If I could get a couple of grand, I'd clear out of town for a while.

You might sell your mother. It's the only thing you haven't tried.

I mean it.

I need the money and I need a rest.

You couldn't get bus fare to the corner out of me.

It might be handy not to have me around.

It might .. at that.

Mr and Mrs Moss. They say they've got an appointment.

Keep this out of sight.

A fine woman, Mrs Daniels.

I haven't seen her for so long.

But she always did recommend the nicest people.

Thank you, Mrs Donner.

Mrs Daniels suggested that I bring all our papers just to expedite matters.

So I've brought the marriage license and the ..

Never mind the red tape.

I'm delighted to help. Oh.

A home is never complete without a child.

Would you care for something to drink?

Oh .. no, no thanks. I can't.

Wall Street lining.

And you'll have something? No thank you.

No, no. We're on a wagon built for two.

I don't drink myself but I like to be tolerant.

Yes, indeed.

As I was saying, Mrs ..? Moss.

My dear, you'd make a perfect mother.

Haven't I seen you somewhere before?

I hardly think so.

The Ladies Club or the Woman's Auxiliary?

No, no. I hardly think that is probable, Mrs Donner.

As you know, we're visitors in town.

Maybe it was Palm Beach this past winter?


I've been so busy.

Yes, yes. I'm sure you have.

And now ..

Not to take up too much of your time.

When can we expect to ..

Adopt a baby?

Well, we have a waiting list.

But we possibly could make some arrangement.

We'll pay anything, Mrs Donner.

I do have a young lady upstairs now.

We'd .. we'd be very grateful.

The girl chosen will register at the hospital.

In your wife's name.


In my name? Yes.

Your name will be on the birth certificate as the child's mother.

Why, that's very clever.

Thank you.

This way we avoid the bothersome details of a legal adoption.

I wonder if we could see the mother?

I think I'd feel more secure.

Certainly, my dear.

This is one of the many advantages we have.

Over the other adoption homes.

[ Buzzer ]


She's going to show someone through tonight.

Can't we lay low for five minutes?

You seem kinda nervous. You'd be too, if you had any sense.

I only let certain people call me dumb.

I know. You told me.

I hear she's bringing in a batch of kids from out of the state.

What do you know about that?

I know it ain't none of your business.

Thank you, Miss Jensen.

Goodnight. Goodnight.

She's very nice looking.

Yes .. it ought to be a beautiful baby.

Just going down the stairs. I'll take a look.

You stay put. You got us into enough trouble.

Here .. polish that off. I'll lock the door.

I'd be very happy to give you a check now, Mrs Donner and close the deal.

I'm sorry. These money matters are always so embarrassing.

We prefer cash.

Oh, well ..

Well, I have some money with me.

I have five hundred dollars.

Well, I could give you that on account.

We're staying at the Presidential Hotel, and ..

Later, I can send the balance over.

That will be satisfactory. Thank you.

You can't imagine how much we appreciate this, Mrs Donner.

Thank you. In my work there is such deep satisfaction.

I shall be calling you within 24 hours.

At the Presidential Hotel.

Goodnight to you, both of you. Goodnight, Mrs Donner.

That's it. You've got us into enough trouble.


He was spying. Casing this couple.

You must be getting sloppy with your references.

That was the Considine girl and the reporter.

I thought her voice reminded me of someone.

Get out the back way Harry and see if the house is being watched.

Now we know a bit more.

Did they see you? No. - Good.

Probably marked down all the serial numbers.

I don't like the way things are going.

You never do. I want to get out.

You will stay here until I speak to DeCola.

Anybody watching?

No. Dead as a morgue.

Hey, where you going?

Mrs Donner sent me to do something.

Ask her.

I will.

"In a house across the street, another meeting is arranged for Mark and Paula."

So that's the set up?

They register the girl under the name of the couple buying the baby.

Uhuh. It's a neat trick.

It means Mary may have been registered under any of the five names I have here.

That's Kelly, Spence, Korchack, Raven and Trent.

Dowd, have all five of those women brought in tomorrow with their husbands.

One of those nurses at the hospital must have been lying.

Sure. But which one?

It's just routine from now on.

How about Dottie Jensen? She's in no danger.

As long as they still want the baby and they're not suspicious.

Come on, we can get out of here. Are you sure you've pulled it off?

We're up for an Oscar next year for our performances.

Alright. Go on back to your hotel and wait for her to call you.

Let us know the minute anything breaks. Why would I keep it a secret?

I rented a bungalow at Cavania for you.

Your posing as a wealthy couple is costing the taxpayer 25 bucks a day.

Don't I know it.

Part of those taxes are mine.

We've come a long way since Ash Fork and Beaverbrook.

If the boys in the pool-room could only see me now.

What's the matter?

I hated to leave Dottie in that place.

She'll be alright.


Mrs Donner had Mary killed, didn't she?

Yeah. Looks that way.

When she comes up for trial.

Everything about Mary will have to be brought out, won't it.

You wouldn't want Donner to get away with it, would you?

I don't know.

Maybe I would if it would make it any easier on the baby.

People forget.

By the time she's grown up, nobody will remember a thing about it.

I keep wondering how Mary would feel about it.

It's out of our hands now.

Dottie is over there taking a big chance for you.

The police have been called in.

I don't suppose you could keep Mary's name out of it?

If Mrs Donner goes to trial, I won't be the only newspaperman there.

Goodnight, Mark.

Why don't you come down to the bar and have a nightcap?

No thanks. Goodnight.


I'm sorry to tell you this, Mrs Spence.

But it looks as though the whole thing has gone sky high.

I don't understand.

"Somebody has cottoned on to the deal."

"We're all about to get a call from the police."

But Mrs Donner assured me it was perfectly safe.

It's too bad, Mrs Spence.

There must have been a leak somewhere.

What can we do?

We couldn't give up the baby now. She's almost like our own.

That's why I called you.

I know how you must feel.

I have a few connections around town.

I might be able to quiet things down.

"Yes, Mr Kerric. Please you must."

Of course, it will take money.

How much?

"Oh, a couple of thousand anyway."

I couldn't possibly ..

"Why don't you let me talk to Mister Spence?"

He is away on a business trip.

But I know we don't have the money, Mr Kerric.

You know, you're in this as deep as any of us.

I can't help it. We simply don't have it.

Maybe we could raise some.

I'll need it tonight.

But that's absolutely impossible.

"Alright, Mrs Spence."


I may call you later.

Mr Kerric, please.


Mr Kerric!

Mr Kerric, please ..

The Presidential Hotel.

"Mrs Moss."

Just a moment, please.

"This is Kerric."


Is Sitko there with you?

Of course not.

Are you alone?


How badly do you want your sister's baby back?

I'll do anything.

Maybe we can make a deal.

I know you were at Mrs Donner's tonight.

"Are you there?"


You are not to talk to anyone, do you understand?

I understand.

I'll know if you cross me, because I'm having you watched.

You needn't worry about that.

What about the baby?

"It's going to cost you."

I have about fifteen hundred dollars in traveller's checks.

"Get them cashed at the desk there."

"Bring them with you." Where?

I'll need about an hour. I'll call you back.


Now, get this through your head.

I'm really desperate. So don't try any tricks.

I won't.

If you do, I'll take it out on the kid.

I said I wouldn't. Please don't hurt her.

She'll be alright.

"If you behave."

How can this Kerric expect to stay healthy keeping such late hours?

Well, talk!

You don't pay me to talk. I don't like waiting for people.

What do we do now?

Just keep driving round the block.

We've been around three times already.

Please do as I tell you. Okay.


Alright. Hurry up.

Is that okay? Yeah, sure.

Beat it.

Where is she?

I'm taking you to her.

Did you bring the money? Yes.

Is she alright? She's fine.

Where was she?

Don't ask too many questions.

I'm sticking my neck out a mile each way on this thing.

It's worth every penny.

I'm not complaining.

Well, here we are.

Now be quiet when we go in.

You left her here alone?

She wasn't going anywhere.

Now, how about the money?


You are to stay here until tomorrow morning.

Don't try to get out.

This place is owned by friends of mine.

They'll tell you when you can leave.

About time.

You'll have to make better last words than that for Mrs Donner.

Let's go.

You'd better start talking, Kerric.

I don't know anything about it.

Sure. You always go around with fifteen hundred dollars in your pocket.

Mrs Spence called, Kerric. We know everything you've been up to tonight.

I tell you, I don't know anything about it.

Stop that noise!

I told you I had somebody else here. Be quiet. Stop marking him up.

What's another mark? He can be a hit-and-run victim.

Be realistic. Where is the child?

And where did you get the money?

Let him talk, stupid.

The money is mine.

I've been saving it.

I was going to clear out of town.

You should have started sooner.

Hold up his arm, Hoppe.

This is a little game we used to play after Sunday School.

[ Kerric screams! ]

Stay here.

What is it, Dottie? Mrs Donner, it's time.

Get back into bed. I'll call an ambulance.

I'm sorry.

I just got up to turn on the light.

Well that's alright. You stay in bed. I have a patient in the next room.

Here comes the jackpot.

Truth or consequence.

I took the kid.

Where is it?

I .. gave it to the Considine girl.

She gave me the money.

I parked them in a boarding house.

4211 Arco Halt. What room?


Anything else?

That's all there is to it.

Believe me.

We'll see.

Leave him alone. He told you.

Why, Harry. We're just having a little good, clean fun.

Have all of you gone crazy?

Yes. Crazy enough to find out where the kid is.

Harry, watch Kerric. Come on, you two.

Looks like he won't never come up.

We have to get over there right away.

We can get rid of the body later.

Our only chance is to pin the whole thing on Kerric.

We'll have the girl and the baby found in his car.

The baby, too? You throw away money.

I'm paying the bills. Alright.

So Kerric tricked her to suicide?

And in the same place?

Exactly. We'll follow in my car to see you do as good a job as you did before.

Mrs Donner!

Mrs Donner, please!

Alright, Dottie.

It has to happen now. So you're breaking ..?


Bimini hospital. Emergency.

Anybody got a match?


Nurse Sully, please.

Yeah? "Mark."

Just got a break in the case. We won't have to wait any longer.

The Spence baby was kidnapped tonight.

Who? "Spence."

One of the women or your list. She's in our office now.

She's given us a full confession about buying the Considine baby.

What do you mean, the baby was kidnapped?

"Don't know how that figures."

But we have enough now to move in on the whole gang.

We're going to Donner's. Want to be there? - Sure.

"I'll give you ten minutes to dress and then start."

Meet us there and hurry up.

Is everything set? All set.

We'll leave in ten minutes.

[ Door knocks ]

Just keep it quiet, honey.

You'd better do as they say, Miss Considine.

Once they get started, it's pretty hard to stop them.

And the baby might get hurt.

What do you want? Just come along with us.

And we'll see if we can't straighten out this little misunderstanding.

But .. Quietly, I said.

We don't want to wake up the neighbors.

Nurse, you've got to get me a telephone.

I've sent for one, Mrs Moss, but I don't think you'll have time to place a call.

Some want ice-cream .. lobster ..

Tomatoes or strawberries.

This one .. a phone call.

Who did you want, Mrs Moss? I'll get it.

The District Attorney. Chief McRae, please.

Get that telephone away from her.

She's in no condition to be making a call.

Well after all, Sully.

This is a private case and I'm in charge.

Now, take the telephone out of here.

But, please ..

Pardon me.

Hiya, Mark. Nobody home.

I think I got a reason for the kidnapping.

Kerric must have been planning to double-cross the rest.

He stole the baby and made a deal with Paula.

Did she have any money? Some. I don't know.

Kerric isn't planning anything. He's in there, dead.

Dead? Hmm. Beaten to death.

You know, I think you figured it right.

How about Paula? Not a sign of her.

Or the Jensen girl. He must have taken them with him when he chose to beat it.

Well, come on. Let's get going. Where?

We've got a call-out on Donner's car.

Can you think of anything else?

Yeah, Yeah, the woman. The nurse at the hospital. The one that lied to us.

Alright. It's better than doing nothing.

Doug. You stay here until Homicide gets here.


It was Miss Sully that took care of Mrs Spence.

Tell her we need to see her.

I'm afraid she can't be disturbed. She's on a private case.

You'll have to put someone else on it. We want to talk to her right away.

Send Miss Sully down.

I'm sorry, you can't see her now. Her patient is ready for the delivery room.

Do you mind if we wait?

Wait a minute. What's that patient's name?

Moss. Dottie.

Miss Tripp. Take us to Miss Sully. We're arresting her.

I'll meet you in the car, Mark.

Dottie. Dottie, what happened?

I tried to reach you.


They forced him to tell where Paula is.

They're going to kill her and the baby.

And try to make it look like suicide.

Where? They said ..

The same place they took Mary.


You take good care of her. You'll be alright.

It's all rigged. We can leave.

We're not leaving here until the whole affair is finished.

I'm not being paid by the hour.

You're not being paid until I'm sure.

Staff 44 to Control 1.

Requesting assistance.

Paradise Hills unfinished Country Club development. Code 3.

I don't like waiting.

We'll wait ten minutes more.

Didn't I tell you, no smoking.

This is it. Yeah.

Hey, we're getting company. Take your hands off me Punchy.

Hoppe, kill those headlights. Throttle down the motor.

"Punchy", huh? I don't like nobody calling me Punchy.

Where's the fire, Punchy? No seats on this ride, mister.

Kill the headlights.

Mrs Donner and the chauffeur.

Come on here.

Stay under cover, Mark.

No deal, Mack.

I got to get to Paula and that kid.

Only one guy shooting. There were two. Cover the car.

I needed your deposition to prepare my case.

Of course.

The hour is for visitors.

Oh come in. Hello, Paula. Mark.

Well .. I see you've already read it.

0nce again you've crept into the headlines hanging on my coattails.

I'll sacrifice a small steak in your honor tonight.

How's the baby?

Well, he hasn't started to talk yet.

But he looks like he may have something pretty bright to say when he does.

Dottie, I don't have to say how much .. No, you don't.

How is Mary's baby?

We're looking for a handsome young couple to adopt her.

I'll look around the room and see if I can find one.

Come in.

Hiya, McRae. Girls.

Congratulations, Sitko. A nice little piece of work.

Well, if you say so it must be true.

And a little note for you from our boss.

You and I may be working together now, Sitko.

I've been promoted.


Now, just a minute.

Why, he can't do this to me. I've been working night and day on this.

I got a week off now.

You'll never win a Pulitzer Prize that way, Sitko.

Shut up. Get back and tell him I'm leaving on my honeymoon.

And what better way could you spend it, than working?

[ Whistle ]

Why you little ..

Well, there goes our honeymoon trip. What do we do now?

Well, start at the bottom.

Put on your cast-iron stomach and we'll spend our honeymoon at Eddie's.

Interesting people, these small-town girls.

"But whatever the time, or wherever the place."

"This did happen in a city which may be your home."